December 30, 2011: We close out the year with an issue sure to raise a few eyebrows. In a Heartbeat host John Clor invites Sawyer to Grosse Pointe’s War Memorial to discuss the Chevy Volt. (See if you can guess which member of the TVD staff will be swearing off cookies next year.) Not content to stop there, Chris finds another example where truth and honesty are lacking — energy. Are we running out of domestic energy in the Americas, or just the will to explore for more oil, natural gas and coal? The answer may surprise you. On a lighter note, Federal-Mogul introduces a new lighting and sensor technology that works with the wave of your hand. Speaking of using your hands, Al tells us about “Rubber Arm Randy” and why every driver should learn how to “Stick It!”
December 23, 2011. This time around, Al mistakes a V6 for a V8, and yet gets to keep his auto journalist credentials! (Everyone makes mistakes, especially when the world is whizzing past.) Chris Sawyer drives the 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8, and it gives him a keen insight into the personality of the brawling company founders, John and Horace Dodge. Al creates a midlife crisis spotter’s guide for your enjoyment, and admits to having fallen into this trap — twice! To make up for this, and his cylinder-counting mistake, we give him a book to review about drag racing. It’s not the fish out of water story you might think as Al has worked with drag racing legend Connie Kalitta in the past. Also, there’s a new HANS Device that’s lighter, smaller and less expensive. Finally, there's a new technology item that boggles the mind. It's not going to make your car faster, more fuel efficient or safer, but it will keep you entertained. Check it out here.
December 16, 2011. It’s nearly Christmas, but there’s still time to get a suitable gift for the gearhead in your life. Check out TVD’s affordable, and practical, gift selections. When money isn’t an object, you can go all-out. Sort of like Juha Kankkunen in the Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible. Buy one and you get the commemorative Breitling watch free. Al’s at it again. This time he’s complaining about bumpers that can’t hack it… and scouring powder. You’ll have to read it to understand the connection. Finally, Chris Sawyer went to Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant this week to check out the 2013 Focus Electric. And it caused him to use a word his late mother didn’t like. See what it is and why he feels truth and honesty are the latest casualties in the auto industry’s dance with environmentalists and regulators.
December 9, 2011. Speculation is rife about who will succeed Alan Mulally as Ford’s CEO. We take a look at the contenders. When Sawyer’s kidney stones acted up, Al Vinikour stepped in and covered the introduction of the 2013 Lexus GS. He liked it. What he doesn’t like, however, are people who “tap dance” on the brake pedal. Read why. Bentley gives a taste of the sound of the new Continental, and The Editor muses about the death of Maybach. And last, but by no means least, we talk to Britain’s Andy Peace about his modern interpretation of the classic Maserati Tipo 250F Grand Prix racer. It’s nothing less than amazing.
December 2, 2011.
This week, The Editor tours the Udvar-Hazy Center while visiting Virginia, and discovers a place he likes as much, or more, than the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. Yeah, we know… we think he’s weird, too. However, his photos and words show an aviation and space museum well worth the trip. While Chris was out drooling over airplanes, Al Vinikour read a book, and wrote a review. (We know. We didn’t think it was possible, either.) As if that wasn’t enough, Al tells every naysayer, eco-freak and busy body just who gives him the right to drive fast, powerful cars. It’s enough to make even the most impenitent want to go to church. Speaking of church, we pray in the church of the eco-weenies as we test the Chevy Volt. Is it the answer to range anxiety or the perceived “sins” of the internal combustion engine? Or is it just a fascinating addition to the pantheon of alternative propulsion systems?